The Ethics of Public Service: Resolving Moral Dilemmas in Public Organizations

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1988 - Political Science - 197 pages
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This ground-breaking volume offers a theoretical framework from which the theory and practice of ethics in public administration can be guided. Starting with the most prominent literature in the field, it constructs a theoretical foundation for administrative ethics by building on the twin themes of organizational setting and individual administrator. Stressing that the field has failed to take advantage of the philosophical traditions that should be the underpinnings of any study or application of ethics, the volume focuses not only on the current state of public administration, but stresses the role of philosophy. The proposed framework is examined in light of philosophical traditions and in terms of how it fits with the role and context of public administrators in the general society. The book takes a practical approach, with emphasis on the exigencies of the environment in which public administrators must practice. The shortcomings of current approaches to public administration ethics are addressed, and alternative approaches proposed. Finally, the study examines the validity of the framework and the suggestions of earlier chapters by applying them to a specific case that might be faced by an administrator.

 

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Contents

Public Administration Ethics Developing a Framework
1
Ethics in Public Administration Literature
4
Rohr and Cooper
16
The Philosophical Tradition of Ethics
27
The Social and Historical Context of Public Administration
37
The Moral Order of Our Society
39
The Role of the Public Administrator
59
Philosophical Matrices for Resolving Ambiguity in Administrative Ethics
68
The Process Dimension of Administrative Ethics
107
The Moral Content of Administrative Ethics
124
The Path to a More Ethical Public Administration The Organization
131
Organizations and Ethics
132
The Objectives and Nature of Organizational Reform
138
The Case for Change
156
Ethics in Practice An Application
159
A Case Study by John Nalbandian
160

The Organizational Context of Public Administration
75
Organizational Loyalty
76
Organizational Structure
81
Organizational Norms and Values
91
Conclusion
97
The Path to a More Ethical Public Administration The Individual
99
The Domain of Ethics in Administration
100
Analysis
162
Making Ethical Decisions about Moral Dilemmas
171
Recommendations
177
Conclusion
181
BIBLIOGRAPHY
187
INDEX
195
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

KATHRYN G. DENHARDT is Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

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